Scotland Women mounted an inspired late comeback to earn a 13-13 draw against much-fancied France on their return to Women’s Six Nations action at Scotstoun this afternoon.
A debut try from Rachel Shankland plus eight points from the boot of Helen Nelson was enough for Scotland to kick-start Bryan Easson’s tenure as Head Coach with a positive result against the much-fancied French.
Scotland put in a spirited performance, with centre pairing Lisa Thomson and Hannah Smith causing the French problems, as did fullback Chloe Rollie, and Player of the Match Jade Konkel well supported up front by Sarah Bonar and Megan Kennedy, back in the team after injury.
They recovered well after France scored the game’s opening try inside five minutes, lock Safi N’Diaye driving over from a lineout.
Helen Nelson kicked Scotland’s first points with a well-struck penalty after the hosts enjoyed a lengthy period of possession.
France looked more dangerous with ball in hand, but could only add to their tally with a penalty from fullback Jessy Tremouliere after a dominant scrum.
Scotland nearly fell further behind on the stroke of half-time, but held out well and new coach Bryan Easson will have taken plenty of encouragement from the opening 40 minutes.
HALF-TIME: Scotland 3-8 France
France struck early in the second half, hooker Agathe Sochat driving over from a maul to extend their lead before they empied the bench en masse.
They were dealt a blow shortly before the hour when replacement Lenaig Corson was unable to continue and, having used all their replacements, France were forced to play quarter of the match with 14 players.
Scotland capitalised as Nelson landed a long-range penalty to make it a one-score game, before Shankland scored a superb try on her debut, finishing a move that was started by Rollie and continued by Konkel.
Nelson landed an outstanding touchline conversion to tie the scores.
Neither side was able to get the decisive score, some excellent defensive work from Scotland keeping the visitors out late on, as Scotland ended a 10-year losing run against France.
The draw means Scotland end a nine-game losing run against the French, and sets Easson’s side up well for the remainder of their championship fixtures after a disrupted start to the year.
Full-time: Scotland Women 13-13 France Women
SRBlog Player of the Match: Chloe Rollie. Her Harlequins mate Konkel got the official award, but Rollie caused France countless problems with ball in hand.